By James Rettig
Ohio poet Stanley Gebhardt has sued Insane Clown Posse for copyright infringement over a poem that the rap-metal group purportedly passed off as their own. The poem in question, “But You Didn’t,” was copyrighted in 1993 and published the following year in A 2nd Helping Of Chicken Soup For The Soul, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Almost a decade ago, a recording of the group’s Violent J (real name Joseph Bruce) reading the poem began circulating around the Internet under the name “Violent J’s Poem” and, though it doesn’t appear to have been included in any official ICP releases, the poem has long been attributed to Violent J.
“It’s a verbatim rendition of my client’s artistic, copyrighted poetic work,” Detroit attorney Michael Dezsi told the Free Press, who said that his client discovered the video in 2015.
The poem, which is about the relationship between a son and his distant father, is surprisingly tender for the abrasive rap duo.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and asks a judge to force the group to stop using the recording, per the Associated Press. The band has not commented publicly on the lawsuit.